Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down Council, Cllr Gillian Fitzpatrick held a Civic Reception on the last night of her year as Chair at the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre in Newry to commemorate Mayobridge Band who are celebrating 40 years since in existence.
Over the last 40 years Mayobridge Band have won 7 All Ireland’s, a European title and performed for Irish Presidents and government and have travelled to perform in the UK, Isle of Man and Canada.
Speaking at the event Cllr Fitxpatrick said: “The current band work as a parade band and have made a massive name for themselves, performing at the Rose of Tralee, Maiden of Mourne, the Down Football Final, Fiddlers Green and various festivals around Ireland, and especially on the Mayobridge pitch.
“Indeed this year they were invited to lead the St Patrick’s Day Parade in London, what an honour, what an honour for us all as a community but also for yourselves. This was not only for the band, it’s hard working committee and behind the scene workers, but for the village of Mayobridge and the whole district of Newry, Mourne and Down. Without doubt you are the best known band, I don’t have to tell people about you.”
Seamus Lively spoke about the history of the band saying: “Mayobridge Band, the whole idea of it rattled round my fathers head for about two years. In the summer of 77 he got my brother to go and have a chat with the late great Jerry Quinn and Jerry put it in the ‘Bridge Bulletin and got a meeting together to see who would be interested in starting a band. 17 people turned up and they decided to start a committee on that night.”
In 1999 the band went to Canada and played in the St Patrick’s Day Parade, appeared on breakfast TV in Canada and also made an appearance on the Late Late Show with Pat Kenny and S Club 7!
Gillian also thanked photographers present for their coverage through her year.
Mayobridge Band’s next major assignment is this Sunday where you will see them perform at Pairc Esler for the Armagh v Down Championship game.